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About Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. After college he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ" while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, "Inside the Passion"--the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican’s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. His most widely known book is called: "The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer". He has also published two other titles: "Meditations for Mothers" and "A Guide to Christian Meditation". Fr. John currently resides in his Order’s General Directorate in Rome, where he is continuing his writing apostolate. His blog contains questions and answers on the spiritual life at www.RCSpiritualDirection.com. His online retreats are available at www.RCSpirituality.org.

299. Son Rise (John 20:1-10)

April 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“So on Sunday we all come together. This is the first day, on which God transformed darkness and matter and made the world; the day on which Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.” - St. Justin Martyr John 20:1-10: It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to... Read More

Dryness in Prayer – God’s Part in the Struggle (Part III of III)

April 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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Editor’s Note:  In Part I, we talked about what is going on with dryness in prayer.  In the second installment of this series, we addressed our part in the struggle.  Today, we will look at God’s part in the struggle. A reader asks: Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time.  But lately I seem to be experiencing dryness in my prayer – I just don’t... Read More

87. Lord of All, Condemned by All (Matthew 27:11-26)

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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Editor’s Note:  This is the first of three reflections on the Sunday Gospel reading for Passion (Palm) Sunday is found on site today.  The second and third reflections are also found on site today. “The Church likewise believes that the key, the center and the purpose of the whole of man’s history is to be found in its Lord and Master.” -Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 10 Matthew... Read More

88. Mocking the King (Matthew 27:27-44)

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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Editor’s Note:  The first of three reflections on the Sunday Gospel reading for Passion (Palm) Sunday is found on site today.  This is the second reflection on the Passion Sunday Gospel reading. “None must be ashamed of the cross of Christ, by which he redeemed the world. None must fear to suffer for righteousness’ sake. None must doubt that God will fulfill his promises. For through toil... Read More

89. The Old Is Gone (Matthew 27:45-56)

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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Editor’s Note:  The first and second of three reflections on the Sunday Gospel reading for Passion (Palm) Sunday are found on site today.  This is the third reflection on the Passion Sunday Gospel reading. “By his obedience shown on one tree he retraced the disobedience which had been shown through another.” -St. Irenaeus Matthew 27:45-56: From the sixth hour there was darkness over all... Read More

Dryness in Prayer – Our Part in the Struggle (Part II of III)

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Editor’s Note:  In Part I, we talked about what is going on with dryness or aridity in prayer.  Today, we will look at our part in the struggle. A reader asks: Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time.  But lately I seem to be experiencing dryness in my prayer – I just don’t seem to get as much out of it as I used to.  Is this the “dark night... Read More

273. God’s Timing (John 11:1-16)

April 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“Rather, my dear brothers, let us be ready for all that God’s will may bring, with an undivided heart, firm faith, and rugged strength.”  -St. Cyprian John 11:1-16: There was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of Bethany with the two sisters, Mary and Martha, and he was ill. It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his... Read More

274. The Force of Faith–the Power of Love (John 11:17-44)

April 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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Editor’s Note:  This is part two of this coming Sunday’s gospel reading.  The first part of the reading (John 11:1-16) is also posted on site today here. “Since Christ is our peace, we shall be living up to the name of Christian if we let Christ be seen in our lives by letting peace reign in our hearts.”  -St. Gregory of Nyssa John 11:17-44: On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus... Read More

Dryness in Prayer – What is going on? (Part I of III)

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Aridity or Dryness, Fr. Bartunek, Prayer

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Q: Dear Father John, I have been praying (mental prayer) for a long time.  But lately I seem to be experiencing dryness in my prayer – I just don’t seem to get as much out of it as I used to.  Is it the “dark night of the soul”?  If not, what’s going on, and what should I do? A: The Catechism (#2731) mentions dryness as one of the most common obstacles to prayer. ... Read More

268. A Blind Man Sees (John 9:1-17)

March 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“Let us carry bravely the shield of faith, so that with its protection we may be able to parry whatever the enemy hurls at us.” -St. Cyprian John 9:1-17: As he went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind?’ ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered ‘he was born blind... Read More